A new group of people is entering the workforce, bringing in new ideas about work, their needs and aspirations. The arrival of Gen Z symbolizes the rise of a new stance towards work, and even new ways to earn a living.
Thus, companies must understand this generational group in order to make the necessary adjustments to stay relevant and welcome these new workers.
In this article, you will learn more about Gen Z and what they are looking for as they join the job market.
Who is Generation Z?
Born between 1995 and 2010, Generation Z entered the world amidst the technological and cultural revolution that took place with the rise of the internet. Therefore, they are digital natives, having learned how to use computers and cellphones as early and as naturally as riding a bike.
Smartphones (and consequently, the vast expanse of the internet) have been at their fingertips for as long as they can remember, and social media has been a part of their lives since childhood. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok – this is where a substancial part of their lives are lived, where they seek information, community, connection with others and expression.
When it comes to core values, a preoccupation with the future and collective well being are what guide Gen Z.
What are the main characteristics of Generation Z?
This generation was brought up in a hyper-informed and instantaneous world, and they absorbed these characteristics. Gen Z seeks information constantly, through all the possible platforms. Thus, this generation is also highly communicative (on and offline) and dynamic.
Furthermore, Generation Z seeks autonomy and is anxious about the future. Staying in the same place just because it is more comfortable is not an option. Gen Z seeks financial freedom and wants to enact change in structures they see as outdated.
In a reality where anyone can have their own platform, while Gen Z wants to work in large and medium companies, the idea of running their own business or having a side hustle is constantly on their mind.
What is Generation Z like in the workplace?
More than just money, they want to have a purpose and opportunities to grow within the company. According to a study conducted by Deloitte, 38% of Gen Z wants companies that provide health insurance, while 34% expect mentorships from their leaders. They want safety and find that they need to be prepared for any future changes.
According to the same study, 60% of Gen Z wants to support and consume from companies that engage in positive actions for the community and the world at large, as well as those who supported their employees throughout the pandemic. Thus, it’s clear that this generation is more favorable towards companies that share their values of community and creating a better future, particularly through social justice and environmental protection – as climate change becomes one of their main concerns.
50% of Generation Z has expressed they would like to seek new employment within the next 2 years. This number is lower than the 60% reported in 2019 – which may be a reflection of the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic – but it is still a relatively high percentage, indicating they are not particularly loyal to companies.
This makes sense when you consider one of the things Gen Z craves the most is learning. They usually are in higher education, in higher percentages than previous generations, and are the target of a myriad of online courses and workshops. They also grew up in a world marked by rapid and constant transformation, and want to be challenged and stay current. They are highly adaptable and open to change, and want their workplace to operate in the same way, being flexible and open to their ideas.